Roasted fillet of beef

Serves 6

It is imperative when cooking meat to use the best quality you can. Fillet of beef is undeniably expensive – but my theory is that there are certain times when a celebration is called for and it is then worth spending just that little bit more. If possible, look for grass-fed organic beef.

1 tbsp olive oil
1.2kg/21/2lb fillet of beef – ask your butcher to trim the fat
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7. Place a large, heavy-based fry pan over a high heat and add the olive oil. Season the meat very generously all over – this is important, as it is the salt that will help form a crisp crust.

Once the fry pan is really hot and the oil is sizzling, brown the meat really well all over without fiddling with it too much – just allow it to get a really good colour before turning and browning the other side. Then remove from the pan and lay on a baking tray.

Place on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for no more than 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or two, then wrap in several layers of foil. Leave to rest in a warm place for at least 20 minutes – the longer, the better.

Just before serving, remove from the foil and carve into generous slices. Arrange on a warm serving plate and let guests help themselves.

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